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Income from employment also includes other remuneration or benefits granted to employees for their work; corresponding benefits in kind, such as (discounted) goods or services, are thus in principle also part of wages subject to wage tax and social security contributions. This only applies to benefits from third parties (e.g. from affiliated companies) if they constitute remuneration for a service which the employee has rendered for his employer within the framework of the employment relationship.

In the meantime, several tax court rulings have been issued that interpret the supreme court ruling less narrowly than the tax authorities and did not assume any third-party wages in the disputes.

According to this, a self-economic interest of the third party – such as an increase in sales, an easily accessible customer base, optimization of capacity utilization for travel or brand ambassadors in the automotive industry – generally precludes the assumption of remuneration for work. In contrast to the administration, the court does not consider a “predominance” of commercial interests to be necessary.

Even close relationships between the third party and the employer – such as between the travel agency and the tour operator, subcontractor or affiliated company – cannot in themselves lead to the assumption of wages.
However, it remains to be seen whether the decision will stand up before the Federal Fiscal Court.

(For further comments, information and examples, please refer to our information letter 03/2019).

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Neumann & Walczak – tax consulting company GmbH – Robert-Bosch-Strasse 1 – 59439 Holzwickede

Neumann & Walczak Tax Consultants – Partnership –
Robert-Bosch-Strasse 1 – 59439 Holzwickede

Website: www.neumann-walczak.de – E-mail: info@neumann-walczak.de

Phone: (0049) 02301 – 91 291 0 – Fax: (0049) 02301 – 91 291 21